In a small town in Florida, called Arcadia, is an exotic animal rescue called Lions, Tigers and Bears. Scott and I learned that many of these animals were once someone’s pets. Apparently there is an exotic animal auction not far from there where you can buy anything from monkeys to elephants. What?
The couple running the non-profit lives on the animal rescue property. They educated us on the many reasons people adopt these exotic pets from “great photography props” to “my daughter really wanted a baby cheetah.” After the exotic pets reached maturity, someone always got hurt and then the once desired exotic pet was no longer wanted.
While we have been living in Florida, the news about pythons taking over the Everglades has been constant. There was a huge python living at the exotic animal rescue, so we had to ask more questions regarding the news story. We learned that several years ago there was a man living in Florida near the Everglades that had over 700 python snakes that he sold as pets. Many of these python snakes were babies and were only contained in simple plastic boxes with holes to breathe. A huge hurricane destroyed the man’s house and the snakes obviously escaped the plastic container boxes. Several years later they have found the pythons learned to survive in the Everglades and have no known predators, which is destroying the ecosystem in the Everglades. Wow.
If you get the chance, visit an animal sanctuary. The work they do is amazing and the information you learn is priceless. If you visit Lions, Tigers and Bears in Florida, schedule it around the first week of March. The fields of orange trees is beautiful and their blooms smell amazing!